Playing a sport is so much fun, why do we need to convince people? Isn’t that our biggest complaint with kids these days – they rather stay inside on their screens than just be kids outside and active. When I was growing up, we had plenty of time and areas to wander around aimlessly. There were woods a few blocks away. We’d grab a pitcher, pick wild berries and my mom would churn out delicious pies. She was famous for them. As an adult, I’ve still never seen those same magical black raspberries I did growing up, but my brother claims he’s spotted them at his San Francisco market.
We rode bikes to school and everywhere else. We played night games in the dark with names like “Murder by Death.” Without any phone calls or texts, all the neighborhood kids would gather, hide and run around our pitch-black backyards. And our parents let us.
I did all these physical activities when I was young, but never consistently played an organized (or unorganized) sport. Kids today don’t have as much unstructured, rule-less, even lawless time, but they sure have sports. Most kids had at least 1-2 sports, and many had 3-4 incorporated into their pre-Corona lives. As things normalize, I believe we’ll find ways to keep that up, even if in smaller groups and more sanitization of equipment.
My lack of participation in sports as a child didn’t bother me then, but now I long for it. No room for regret though. It’s never too late and I decided as an adult that there were things I still wanted to learn. Ice skating is one of them. It started with my seven-year-old daughter taking private lessons at Chelsea Piers in NYC. A class would have been fine, but we loved the convenience of choosing our own time each weekend. I thought why not tag onto a lesson and once I did, I was hooked. When I decided to quit my job at Bravo after ten years, one of the things I looked forward to doing most with my new schedule was taking skate lessons in the middle of the day on near empty ice. It was such a treat. It’s so rewarding to pick up a sport at an older age. Why should it be just for kids?
That’s one of the things I miss most about life with Corona Virus – not going ice skating and having that thing for myself. I cherished my weekly lessons. Not just because they were fun, but because I was learning a skill and something to improve on. It also keeps your muscles moving and helps with agility. Everyone should have that at every age.
Now in the midst of summer and Covid19 – tennis has become an easy socially-distant sport. I’m now filling my skating gap with tennis lessons, also inspired by my seven-year-old. Soon we can play together and that will be the best! It’s also a perfect social activity with other adults. A night of drinking is fun – but how about meeting up for a tennis match. I’ll join you for that any time.
The best competition is with yourself and picking up a sport later in life is a perfect way to be the best you can be.